Friday Digest BSF Matthew Lesson 19

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN MATTHEW 18 BSF LESSON 19

  • We are to depend on God as a child does
  • Always put others before ourselves
  • What we do or what we don’t do matters
  • Avoid sin and do not tolerate it
  • We must go after the lost sheep, too
  • An unwillingness to repent cannot be tolerated
  • Every event in your life is by God’s design

TAKE AWAY: Forgiving others is the least you can do in light of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 5: Matthew 18:21-35

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 18:21-35

Jesus tells the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant when Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Jesus answers with 77 and then tells the parable of a man who owed the king money. The king was about to sell his family to pay the debt, but the man begged him to be patient with him. The king forgave his debt and let him go. However, this man did not show mercy to a man who owed him money. When the king found out, he had him tortured and ordered him to pay back the money he owed. You must forgive your brother from your heart, Jesus says.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 5: Matthew 18:21-35

13a) That he had the same person sinning against him repeatedly.

b) That he must forgive his brother 77 times.

c) To show mercy to others as Jesus shows us mercy every day.

14a) It’s important to realize when things are just petty and don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, especially in terms of eternity.

b) I find it hard to forgive those closest to me. The hurt is just too great.

c) My parents. Unsure. Call them. Visit them.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 5: Matthew 18:21-35

Jesus has done so much for us that it truly is little to forgive others and treat them as we want to be treated.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 5: Matthew 18:21-35

At the time, the accepted standard was to forgive someone three times as set forth by the rabbis. Peter probably thought he was being extremely generous when he more than doubled this number — that is, until Jesus put him in his place.

Jesus’s answer means we forgive unlimited amounts of time.

Settling accounts was a common and regular practice in biblical times.

Ten thousand talents would be worth anywhere between $12 million and $1 billion in today’s terms. It was a huge debt.

The man would never be able to pay (so how he racked up that much debt in ancient times is unclear). The selling of his family was merely a drop in the hat for payment.

The other servant’s debt was about 100 days worth of work, which was a large amount, too.

Note the plea is the same, and the forgiven man turns a blind eye.

The forgiven man seems to have no regrets over his actions, which helps to explain the harshness of the king’s judgement.

Any debt someone owes us is insignificant in comparison to the debt that Jesus paid for us on the cross.

Forgiveness can be one-sided. After all, it’s for your benefit to forgive so you aren’t consumed with bitterness.

You must forgive with the heart, or it’s meaningless and worthless.

If you will not forgive,  you cannot expect to be forgiven.

Fun Fact: Matthew, a tax collector, records Jesus’s teachings on money found nowhere else in the Gospels. He also records Jesus’s words on how to treat the poor and the needy.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 3: Matthew 18:6-14

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 18:6-14

Jesus explains that if anyone causes a child who believes in him to sin then it would be better to have a millstone hung around his neck and drowned in the sea. If something causes you to sin, get rid of it, even your hand, foot, or eye. It’s better to have eternal life with only one hand, foot, or eye than to be thrown into the fire of hell.

Don’t look down on the little ones. If one sheep wanders off, the shepherd goes and looks for it until he finds it. He is happier about finding that one sheep than the other 99. God is not willing to lose any of His lost sheep either.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 3: Matthew 18:6-14

7) Jesus said it would be better to have a millstone hung around his neck and drown in the sea.

8a) If something causes you to sin, get rid of it, even cutting off your hand, foot, or gouging your eye. He meant to take any step necessary to remove from your life the thing that causes you to sin.

b) I’ve underestimated how others are affected by your personal sin and how much it does affect other aspects of your life.

9) God cares about everyone and wants everyone to come to him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 3: Matthew 18:6-14

We cannot underestimate the importance of getting rid of those things in your life that causes you to sin. Resistance to sin is easier when you’re not around it. This includes habits, relationships, entertainment, and comforts. If God cares so much for his lost sheep, so should we.

Great read!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 3: Matthew 18:6-14

Pressuring others to sin is worse than just you sinning Jesus is saying here. It’s better to die Jesus says than to lead others to sin.

Our actions affect others, and we must consider our actions in relation to the spiritual welfare of others.

God will administer justice to those who sin and hurt us. This is one powerful reason to forgive others and to let things go. At the end, they will be punished.

It’s better to sacrifice now than face eternal punishment later on. It’s important to take the hand, foot, and eye gouging as figurative. The point is to take any step necessary to prevent you from falling into sin.

We are to protect the little ones of the earth. Here is where the idea of guardian angels comes from.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

See Luke’s parable of the Lost Sheep in  Luke 15:3-7

Since Jesus loved and cared for everyone, even those who go astray, so should we.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 2: Matthew 18:1-5

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 18:1-5

The disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called a child to him and said whoever humbles himself like children is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and they have to become like children to enter heaven. Whoever welcomes a little child like this child becomes like Jesus.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 2: Matthew 18:1-5

3) The disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus used a child as a visual example.

4) They change and become like children.

5a) Whoever humbles himself like a child is true greatness. That whoever serves others, namely God, rather than himself is great.

b) Most of the world honors those who do great things, not those who serve others with no expectation of reward. They honor self-sufficiency, not dependence.

c) In many ways with my family and others. It’s hard because we want to think highly of ourselves and never admit we are wrong.

6) This is a tough one since I don’t mingle with others all that much. Co-workers at work.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 2: Matthew 18:1-5

I love how Jesus uses concrete examples, such as a child, to make his point. It makes it easier for us to understand and know what to do.

Great read!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 2: Matthew 18:1-5

This teaching took place as the disciples and Jesus were walking to Capernaum. They were arguing which one of them was the greatest. The disciples were probably hoping Jesus would pick one of them as the greatest Luke 9:46.

Obviously, Jesus is the greatest. However, he is answering the question by pointing to the nature of a child instead.

Children in ancient times held little to no value until they grew up. Their opinion did not matter, and they were virtually ignored by others. They were raised to work and help their parents. However, children have not yet learned to be full of pride. They are utterly dependent on their parents for everything. Jesus not only gives value to children here, but he teaches how we are to be with God — totally reliant upon Him.

To humble yourself is to put yourself below someone else. This is Jesus’s point. You must put yourself beneath God to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Plus, how you treat others shows how much you love Jesus. Coming in Jesus’s name means your heart belongs to Jesus.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 3: Matthew 9:9-17

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 9:9-17

Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him. Matthew did. They ate dinner at Matthew’s house with other tax collectors and sinners. This was much frowned upon, and the Pharisees asked why was Jesus doing this. Jesus responded that he has come to heal the sick and the sinners.

John the Baptist’s disciples asked Jesus why he does not fast like they do. He replied that since he is here on earth, everyone should be rejoicing, not fasting. He says you don’t patch up old garments, making the tear worse, nor do you pour new wine into old wineskins.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 2: Matthew 9:9-17

6a) That Matthew immediately gets up and walks away from his career and everything else.

b) First, many are curious about the author of the book, and it’s a great example of what you do when Jesus calls you. It also lends credibility to his words.

7a) The Pharisees asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” This was deeply frowned upon in Jesus’s day; no one of faith mixed with known sinners.

b) Jesus responded that he has come to heal the sick and the sinners. Jesus is here to offer mercy and show God’s love.

c) Matthew 28:19-20 is the great commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” and teaching them about God and to obey God. John 17:14-19 says how Christians are not of the world and Jesus prays for protection from the evil one and that they (disciples) may be santified as they enter the world, spreading the gospel. 1 Peter 3:13-17 says that you are blessed for doing good and be prepared to tell everyone about Jesus. It is better to suffer doing God’s will than to do evil. Set Christ apart in your heart.

Matthew challenges Christians to go out into the world shining God’s light. To go against the grain for Jesus even if you suffer for it. He says to do good rather than evil. To spread the Good News.

8a) “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

b) He replied that since he is here on earth, everyone should be rejoicing, not fasting.

The wedding guests: no one should be mourning while the bridegroom is with them.

The patched garment and wineskins: He says you don’t patch up old garments, making the tear worse, nor do you pour new wine into old wineskins.

Isaiah 43:18-19 talks about doing a new thing and how Jesus is making a new way for the world.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 2: Matthew 9:9-17

Lots to think about in this lesson. We see how to follow Jesus: unequivocally. We see that with Jesus, it’s a new way. And, perhaps most importantly, we see it’s okay to go against the grain to follow Jesus and do things his way, not the world’s.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 2: Matthew 9:9-17

Mark 2:14 reveals that Matthew as also known as Levi the son of Alphaeus. Matthew 10:3  tells us that there was another son of Alphaeus, James, who also was amongst the 12 disciples.

Tax Collectors in Jesus’s Day

Jews despised tax collectors (they aren’t liked now, either) because they collected taxes that then went to the Romans. This job pitted Jews against Jews, as they were seen as traitors. Tax collectors were paid on commission, which lead to many extorting others; whatever they collected over the tax amount, they got to keep. This meant the more they collected, the more they enriched themselves.

Jews considered a tax collector an outcast. They could not be a judge or a witness in a court of law, they could not attend synogogue, and they were most likely outcast by their immediate family, too. The price was high to be a tax collector in the 1st century A.D.

You will see the word “publican” used for tax collector in the King James Version, from the Latin word meaning “public revenue.”

Matthew left a lucrative career to follow Jesus. Out of all the disciples, he may have given up the most. Yet, he penned the first book in the Gospels. How cool!

Dinnertime

We see truly how Jesus came for sinners with his calling of Matthew. Odds are, Jesus used this opportunity to reach others who were sinners and needed Christ. This was most likely a large public gathering, not one in a home.

Jesus came for sinners, as seen in this scene. (Romans 5:8). Yet, the Pharisees don’t get it; they avoided sinners like the plague.

Jesus here quotes scripture Hosea 6:6 and essentially tells learned leaders to go back and read God’s word because they just don’t get it. “Go and learn” was a rebuke commonly used by religious leaders at the time to someone who should know better or learn more about what they are speaking about.

Romans 3:10 “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Jesus offers sinners righteousness.

“Why Not Fast?”

The disciples of John the Baptist were very strict on their religious followings. The Pharisees fasted regularly Luke 18:12), and Jesus already addressed how they only fasted for show, rather than for faith. (Matthew 6:16).

The day will come where fasting will be appropriate, but while Jesus is here, it’s not. Instead, it’s a time to celebrate.

The wineskins represent how Jesus will not repair the Old Covenant, but instead he’ll bring a new one. New wine into new wineskins means his new church will form a new body of Christ.(Ephesians 2:16).

There is no patch to the Old Testament; only new. Sometimes the old cannot be renewed.

Jesus as the bridegroom is another claim Jesus makes as God. In the Old Testament, God was the bridegroom and His people the bride. Here, Jesus is saying he is God with this analogy.

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Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 19

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS CHAPTER 29:

  • God grows us, our character, and our faith through pain and suffering.
  • God knows exactly what we need.
  • God often teaches us life lessons the hard way.
  • Our sins yield consequences that can cause pain, but that God will use anyway to glorify Him.
  • God has a plan and a purpose for our pain and suffering, and it is good.
  • Pain and suffering lead us to depend more on God

Take Away: Hope in Christ overcomes all pain.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 29:31-35

Summary of Genesis 29:31-35:

God gave Leah children because she was unloved. Rachel was barren. Reuben was named because Leah was miserable, his name meaning “he has seen my misery.” Simeon was named cause she was unloved, his name meaning “one who hears.” Levi means “attached.” Judah was named for “praise” of the Lord.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 29:31-35

14) Jacob to love her.

15) God shows us all kindness in difficult times. God shows kindness by continuing to be present, to guide, to lead, to be merciful, to forgive, and to give us hope through his son, Jesus.

16) She grows in her faith like we all do and realizes God is there for here when Jacob, her husband, is not emotionally.

17) God is faithful.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 29:31-35

I continue to be baffled as to why Jacob still sleeps with Leah besides the physical/procreation side. He knows Rachel is hurt by this, so why do it? Another sin since sex is meant as bonding as well as procreation. Sadly, sex is physical for all too many men today.

BSF notes takes the position that Jacob is fulfilling his duty by giving Leah an opportunity to bear children for status purposes. I can see this for maybe one or two kids, but to continue to have sex with her for all those years and watch his supposed beloved, Rachel, suffer heartache with each successive birth is nothing but selfishness in my eyes.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 29:31-35

Here we see Leah forced into a marriage with a man who will never love her, and she suffers because of it, hated by her sister, Rachel, yet she can’t change it. It’s not like she could leave or get a divorce. God loves her as he blesses her with children, so important in those times.

Isaiah 54:5 “For the Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name…”

Reuben is the first born son of Jacob, yet he would not inherit the promise.

We see Leah’s hope shift to God instead of Jacob, which she would never have.

Note the priests (the tribe of Levi) and the royal line (the tribe of Judah) comes from Leah, as well as the Messiah (from Judah). Leah was blessed for her circumstances and for her faith, indeed.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30

Summary of Genesis 29:21-30:

Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand once his 7 years is up. Laban throws a feast, but when evening came he substitued Leah for Rachel. He gave Leah a servant named Zilpah. When morning came, Jacob realized he had been tricked. When he confronts Laban, Laban says the custom is to take the older daughter first. Jacob agrees to keep Leah as his wife, but he then marries Rachel in exchange for 7 more years of labor. Rachel’s servant is Bilhah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30

9) Laban may have been worried no one would marry Leah is she was uncomely. He also knew he could get free labor from Jacob basically for another 7 years. When he confronts Laban, Laban says the custom is to take the older daughter first.

10) Leah is now married to someone who does not love her. Rachel is favored. Rachel has to share her husband. No one trusts Laban.

11) Jacob deceived Esau out of the blessing, and he pretends to be Esau to receive Isaac’s blessing. Galatians says that Jacob sowed a sinful nature and reaped destruction because of it.

12) Just because you are forgiven does not mean you can change what happened. You cannot undo anything in this world. Actions reap other actions. You are responsible for your choices.

13) Unsure. It’s hard to see this from my eyes.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30

I’m wondering how this went down and how both women felt about this. Leah was forced to marry someone who did not want her. Rachel was forced to allow her sister to take her place that night. I’m wondering too how Jacob did not notice this before he slept with her. Assuming there was no light, and no one said anything or Jacob would have recognized her voice. Still, the logistics of this deceit baffle me. You would think someone would know here.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30

Leah would have been veiled until they were alone together and with no artificial light….still….

Neither girl had a say in this deceit. It was all Laban. Leah may have been happy, sad, angry. We just don’t know.

The morning must have been a shock. Everyone was angry probably — all because of original sin — Jacob’s.

Many Bible scholars believe that Laban’s excuse was made up and was no custom or law at that time.

Polygamy was a sin of ignorance in Abraham’s day. The example was Adam and Eve, but there was no law against more than one wife. Here Jacob is forced to have 2 wives in order to save Leah from a life of solitude, but it is still a sin.

Jacob most definitely reaped what he had sown, and while Jacob was the younger chosen by God to receive the blessing, he married the older instead.

God disciplined Jacob by allowing this to happen as a consequence of his previous sins. Still, Laban is guilty of sin as well. He used his own daughters for free labor and to ensure Leah was married.

The second 7 years was probably a lot tougher than the first. This was definitely a harder pill to swallow, especially considering Jacob’s age.

Laban gets what he wants initially, but, like always, he’ll get his later. God gives people what they want even when they use sin as a means, but they still have consequences.

In this time, Leah was not defiled and could not be married to another. Jacob was obligated to keep her. That being said, I don’t see how he was obligated to sleep with her and have children with her, especially if he didn’t love her EXCEPT for God’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply. Still, I don’t see how he continued doing this.

Having multiple wives was not uncommon in this culture at that time.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20

Summary of Genesis 29:15-20:

Laban asks Jacob after a month what his wages were be (in sum, what he actually wants and why he is here). Jacob responds that he will work 7 years for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Leah was the older daughter, she is described as having weak eyes, while Rachel is lovely in form and beautiful. The time flew for Jacob so in love was he.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20

6) Apparently Jacob was working for Laban for free.

7a) It taught him patience to have what he wants, and it’s a fair price for his work.

b) Jacob could have offered to pay Laban; instead, he works for what he wants, which is the opposite today in this world of instant gratification

8a) Proverbs says God disciplines those He loves for His reasons and their good. Romans 8:28 is the famous verse of all things work for your good. James tells us that we are tested to develop perseverance. Peter tells us that grief proves our faith to be genuine and results in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed. We are filled with joy becaues of our faith.

b) Stay the course. Keep praying. Keep working. Keep following His lead despite the hardships and the setbacks.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20

I think Jacob’s mistake is not leaving as soon as he could, like Abraham’s servant did with Rebekah. It gave Laban time to plot.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20

While on the surface, Laban seems to be generous, he’s seen the good work Jacob could do and wants to see what Jacob wants in exchange for continued work.

Bible scholars debate what Leah’s eyes being weak or delicate actually mean. Does it mean she has a problem with her vision? Does it mean she has no life to them like her sister? Is it just a nice way to say she wasn’t pretty? Either way, we can guess that if Rachel is more beautiful than Leah that there was a sibling rivalry between the two.

Jacob offers to work for 7 years for Rachel as a dowry. This is over-the-top generous, which was probably his downfall. It showed how much he really wanted Rachel, which Laban would exploit next. Yet it shows his love for her. He was willing to wait. This is a long time in today’s culture and rare is this “I want it now” culture seen today. Time flew for him too.

We can surmise that Jacob and Rachel probably did not see each other much. First, in these times and culture, women did not spend time with men and were often relegated to the home, whereas the men worked the fields. Second, there were no date nights back there. Social propriety was strictly enforced to ensure no one questioned the woman’s purity. However, since both were shepherds, they could have spent some time together and got to know each other more.

Jacob is now 77 years old at this time and he kept sheep for Laban Hos. 12:12 Rachel was very young, maybe even barely marriageable age, which may be another reason Jacob wanted to wait.